Obrázky stránek

WINDER LEWIS was a resident of Maryland and a brave soldie: of the Revolution. In the struggle for Independence the best men were not office seekers but sought the good and glory of their country. Many soldiers in the ranks were men of strong intellect and substantial educa. tion. So with this veteran. After the close of the war toils he filled various public stations and became governor of his state. He enjoyed the esteem of his country and friends until 1819 when he slumbered in death.

WHEELOCK JOHN was a favorite son of Massachusetts and one of the noble patriots who left the halls of literature and periled their lives in defence of chartered rights. He was an active officer in the army and had the esteem of his countrymen. ,He was subsequently a popular President of Dartmouth College. He made himself extensively useful until 1817 when he took his journey to “ that country from whose bourne no traveller returns.”

WILLIAMS OTHO HOLLAND was ushered into life at the county of Prince George, Md. in 1748. At the commencement of the Revolution he resigned a lucrative office under the crown to teach the man who dishonored that crown that Americans dared to assert their rights at the cannon's mouth as well as in paper essays.

He was lieutenant in a rifle corps under Capt. Price and marched to head quarters at Cambridge in 1775. In 1776 he was raised to the rank of major in the rifle regiment under Col. Stephenson. He was in the garrison of Fort Washington when attacked by the overwhelming force of Sir William Howe and was taken prisoner. When exchanged he was placed in command of the 6th regiment of the Maryland line and ordered to South Carolina with Baron de Kalb. He was raised to the grade of adjutant-general under Gen. Gates and shared the keen reverses of that general. Under Gen. Greene he was retained in the same office which he bravely filled to the close of the struggle for Liberty. At Guilford, Hobbick's and Eutaw his efficient services were warmly acknowledged by the judicious Greene, whose bosom friend and constant adviser he was. At all times and under all circumstances he nobly performed his duty in public and private life. At the close of the war he was commissioned a brigadiergeneral as a compliment to his high merit. Subsequent to the Revolution he was appointed Collector of the Port of Baltimore where he died in July 1794.

WÓLCOTT ERASTUS was a favorite son of Connecticut of commanding talents-a strong lawyer-an ardent patriot-a good citizen-a brave officer-an honest man. He rose to the rank of brigadier-general and subsequent to the Revolution was elevated to the Bench of the Superior Court of his state. His measure of usefulness became full in 1798 when the hermetical seal of death closed his bright career.

WOOSTER DAVID was born in Stafford, Conn. in 1711. Although frosted with near 70 winters when the Revolution commenced, he was eager to share in the glory of repelling an insolent foe from his native land and in making that land the happy abode of the brave and the free. In 1775 he was made a brigadier-general by Congress and put in command of the Connecticut iroops. This commission he resigned and became a major-general of the militia of his state: On the 27th of April 1777 he was mortally wounded in leading on his troops against a British force at Ridgefield and died on the 2d of May. His fall was deeply lamented by Congress and our nation. He had all the ardor of youth united with the experience of age. Such men were greatly needed in such a contest as the American Revolution-uniting the sage, hero, citizen and honest man in a harmonious whole.

WYLLIS SAMUEL was a citizen of Connecticut-a major-general of great promise-a man of sterling merit-a patriot of great zeal-a citizen of great worth and was killed by a party of British in 1777 on a predatory " beauty and booty" excursion.

Thus closes a condensed view of the most prominent Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution. I have aimed at an object of greater importance than the relation of historical incidents-an illustration of the heaven-born principles-the god-like actions of the patriots of "76. If these are not cherished and practised by the present and coming generations of our expanding Republic-the Liberty-the priceless FREEDOM we now enjoy will be buried in the smoking ruins of the Elysian temple of our INDEPENDENCE-now towering in majestic grandeur. I have honestly and frankly expressed what I strongly feel relative to the vital interests of our beloved country. My conclusions are based upon laborious investigation, close observation and large experience. In common with every true friend to our government I feel a deep interest in the portentous question of slavery which has so recently rocked our nation in the volcanic cradle of civil discord. I have taken full notes of its whole course from its embryo inception to the present time. I have listened to the arguments of the ablest men in each of the high contending parties. I have read all I could find upon the subject of West India emancipation. So far as the British politicians were concerned I am satisfied that act was a bold stroke of ulterior policy-not of philanthropy. I have made myself familiar with the practical operations of the slave system in our own country by leisurely visiting all the cities, large towns, most of the small ones and numerous plantations in all the slave States except Florida and Texas. Without such a tour no man can well form a correct conclusion upon this momentous subject. He can only make an imaginary chamber survey-not the best evidence to present in court. I am not an advocate for the principle of bondage-but few can be found in the slave States who are. I look at slavery as it is not as represented on the high colored charts of ultra abolitionists. It was forced upon the American Colonies by mother Britain. It is here by entail-not from original choice (see the Preamble of the Virginia Constitution.] This charges George the Third with “prompting our negroes to rise in arms among us-those very negroes, whom, by an inhuman use of his negative he hath refused us permission to exclude by law.” Its present form in the south is infinitely more humane than the cunningly devised apprentice system of England. Instead of rescued Africans being returned to their native land by that arrangement they are put to hard labor on the British Islands for a season and may then be sent adrift at the pleasure of the employer. A provision for life is insured to all the subjects of bondage in the slave States. There the free man may be stripped of the means of support by process of law-the slaves never. They are practically the most potent freeholders in those States. A large majority of the slaves there are better cared for than the same proportion of the colored population in the free States, both mentally and physically. Larger numbers of them enjoy religious instruction and become church members. *

Immediate emancipation would involve these slaves in the keenest misery unless they were provided with means of support far beyond the resources of their owners and the abolitionists combined. Humanity would recoil with horror at the practical workings of the proposed abolition system. It was originated in Europe for the express purpose of destroying our Union. Its paternity is illegitimate-its object our ruin-its tendency chaotic. Its tare seeds were first sown broadcast in our country by Thompson-a hired emissary from Great Britain who is now in our midst a second time on the same demoniac mission. His breath is pestilence-his pathway is marked with the fomenting scum of a meddlesome demagogue. In addition to his salary paid by England he is filling his pockets from the hard earnings of our people whom he blinds to destroy. The Syracuse Journal states that after the meeting this member of the British Parliament addressed at that place a short time since had passed resolutions against the Union the remainder of the time was consumed in receiving subscriptions to support Mr. Thompson in his anti-slavery itineracy. Thus the anti-slavery agitators are obliged to call in paid British assistance to help them break up the Union." At the same meeting this vile emissary made this startling assertion in substance-You have not famine and pestilence but what is worse you are cursed with 30,000 recreant priests. No American would be permitted to pursue this course in Europe a moment. If we tolerate such foreign interference we are unworthy of FREEDOM. When I speak of abolition I refer to ultra political abolition-that which tramples upon our Constitution as an unholy thing and would rejoice at the dissolution of our Union and urge the slaves on to murder. I have no sympathy for ultraism in any section or in any cause.

We must look at slavery as it exists in our country. Time has planted it too deeply to be eradicated by the caustic of abolition. Fine spun arguments upon the Declaration of Rights-the Federal Constitution-the Missouri Compromise-free soil and philanthropy cannot remove it. The question is local and belongs exclusively to the slave States. As well may the south interfere with the internal policy of the north as for us to dictate to the high minded slave owners who might have been gained by the talismanic power of love-never by threats or coercion. As a whole, a more humane, noble, generous people nerer came from the clean hands of the Creator. They can be led by a single hair of kindness-fanatical power may crush but can never drive them. But for the unfortunate issue of abolition raised by the foreign emissary alluded to-gradual emancipation would long before this have been on the flood tide of progress in several of the slave States. I write from the record. A violation of the eleventh commandment has added greatly to the perpetuity of slavery in our country.

For these reasons and others I would name if space permitted, I verily believe the abolition issue fraught with more danger to our Independence than any that has yet been conceived and promulged by the enemies of our Liberty. It is like cutting off the head of a man to cure a cancer on his face.' The preservation of our glorious Union is para·mount to all other considerations which have yet engaged the attention

* The better condition of these slaves is fully proved by the fact that the ratio of their increase, within the last ten years is 3 to 1 over that of the colored population of the free States.-AUTHOR

of our nation. Could the following advice from the Farewell Address of the illustrious Washington be carefully read and implicitly obeyed ipy all in our land-then our FREEDOM would be safe-our UNION preserved.

“ In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs, as a matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminationsnorthern and southern-atlantic and western-whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations. They tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

“ To the efficacy and permanency of your Union a Government for the whole is indispensible. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay by the adoption of a Constitution of Government bøtter calculated than your former for an intimate union and for the "efficacious management of your common concerns. This government,

e offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, ado ted npon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its

principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and alter

their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with a real design to direct, control, counteract or a wè the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental print ciple and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction-to give it an artificial and extraordinary, force-to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often as small but artful and entera prising minority of the community and according to the alternate triumphs of different parties to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and mcongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

[ocr errors]


“ However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to ușurp for themselves the reins of government destroying aiterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion

“ Towards the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions, that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country-that facility in change upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion exposes to perpetual change from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion and remember, especially that for the efficient management of your common interest in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

i “ Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.

“ In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and. affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish-that they will control the usual current of the passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations! but if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good-that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit-to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigueto guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism-this hope wili be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated."

Note-In a recent speech the emissary Thompson used this most specific language:-“I do not believe there is one minister in the United States who believes what he says. I know enough of ministers in that country to believe that they preach wilfully and designedly what they know to be false! These men deliberately go to their closets, and, for purely political and pro-slavery purposes, write sermons for the Sabbath-day, which they all the while know to be palpably and damnably untrue !"


[ocr errors]
« PředchozíPokračovat »